Bite-sized jam and brie tartlets combine melty cheese and your favorite jam for an irresistibly adorable appetizer. You’ll have a hard time saving some for your guests! This recipe uses Brazilian jabuticaba jam, but you can use your favorite kind or even multiple flavors of jam for a variety plate!
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It’s no secret I love miniature things. They’re just so cute and hard to resist!
When I was a kid (okay, even now) small or miniature items would get labeled “Panda-sized” after my favorite stuffed animal, since most of the tiny things I bought from the miniatures section of Michael’s would end up in the stuffed-animal dollhouse I had made for her from cardboard boxes. I mean, come on, who could resist owning a perfect shrunken replica of a toolbox, complete with perfect little screwdriver and wrench?!
While I’m still drawn to most tiny objects, my current love for miniatures frequently manifests in baked goods and canapés, like these mini-loaves of banana nut chocolate chip bread or these guava and Manchego cheese pastry bites.
Combine my obsession with miniatures with my love for good cheese, and you get these perfect little bite-sized jam and brie tartlets.
They’re so cute!
If you love baked brie (especially one topped with fruit preserves of any kind) these are the perfect canapés for you! Jam and brie is a classic combo, and really shows off this unique jabuticaba jam.
So, what in the world is a jabuticaba?
Well, first of all, Brazil is where in the world it’s from. This jam came in my most recent box from Try the World, the awesome subscription box I receive that sends me gourmet international foods from a different country every month. If you missed the Brazil box, you can get the jabuticaba jam separately on their website. (Also, you can enter to win a free three-month subscription to Try the World here!)
Looking at the jar, the jabuticaba fruit looks an awful lot like a muscadine grape — and if you’re from the south, you know those things are like pure gold. But muscadine grapes grow (no surprise) on a grapevine, while the jabuticaba, known as the Brazilian grapetree, is — you guessed it — a tree.
Whoever heard of grapes growing on a tree? Weirder yet, whoever heard of grapes growing straight out of the trunk of a tree?
I was more shocked seeing a photo of a jabuticaba tree than I was the first time I saw brussels sprouts growing straight out of their giant stalk!
Don’t believe me? Check this out.
Yeah, that’s right. Those are muscadine-grape-like fruits growing like barnacles all up the trunk of this weird tree.
Unfortunately, the fruit doesn’t travel well fresh, so if you don’t hail from Brazil, your best bet to taste this fruit is this jabuticaba jam.
Or, if you’re really determined to try some fresh, you can attempt to grow a tree in your own yard, like this guy from Phoenix, AZ.
The jam tastes similar to grape jelly, but maybe a bit more tart. It’s quite delicious!
I really wanted to be able to show off the taste of this unique jam, which is why I just paired it simply with a little brie (the perfect complement) in a tiny, Panda-sized pie crust tartlet shell.
You can use any jam and cheese combo you like for these if you don’t have the jabuticaba jam!
It would be really cute to make a bunch of the tartlet shells and fill them with a variety of different jam and cheese combos: some of these, plus some with blue cheese and fig jam, and cheddar and apple butter.
Just thinking of all the possibilities makes me want to make these again!
Why I love tiny appetizers you can pick up
Besides being little and cute, these canapés have an added benefit.
When I’ve hosted get-togethers, I frequently arrange extra chairs in little seating groups in the living room and kitchen only to find that everyone congregates around the food table, leaving the sofa and chairs empty.
I think part of the issue, especially when you’re serving things like cheese boards, is that people don’t want to spend a lot of time assembling multiple “perfect bites” before leaving the food table to go interact with people. They opt instead to slice off a bit of cheese, put it on their bread, eat, and repeat, leaving them permanently tethered to the table.
With these, guests can quickly pick up these already-assembled jam and brie tartlets and add them to their appetizer plates so they can more easily walk around and mingle.
These would also be great savories for an afternoon tea! Or, you know, just snacking on with your sweetie.
Making the pie crust tartlet shells
This is another small-batch appetizer recipe like my guava and Manchego cheese pastry bites and makes about 20-25 tartlet shells.
To make the tartlet shells, you basically just make a small batch of pie dough, roll thinly, cut out with a fluted circular cookie cutter, and press into a mini muffin tin.
Using a two-inch fluted circular cookie cutter, you should be able to cut out around 20-25 circles, and they will be appropriately sized for a mini muffin tin.
My fluted cookie cutter was a little small so I was faced with either using a larger, non-fluted cookie cutter or figuring something else out.
I really like the wavy edge on the top of these tartlet shells so I left the dough slightly thicker, cut them out with my slightly-too-small fluted cookie cutter, and then rolled out each circle a little more to make them a bit larger. It took some extra time but I got my fluted edges!
You can make the pie dough and even cut out the circles in advance, making the actual baking and assembly a snap on the day of your event.
When you press the dough circles into your mini muffin tin, make sure they have a little edge to them so they can hold melted cheese.
When you bake the shells, don’t overcook them because you will be popping them back in the oven for a couple minutes with the cheese.
Aren’t they precious? I can think of about a million things you could do with these little shells!
Once the shells are made, just fill each one with a cube of cheese.
Don’t worry about making it too pretty, since it will all melt into a nice even gooey filling when you put it back in the oven for a few minutes.
Om nom nom nom. Get in my mouth, you delicious little bites! But not before adding some sweet, fancy jabuticaba jam.
Just a little dollop on each bite!
You want to strike the perfect balance between brie and jam so you taste both.
And they’re ready to serve at your next shindig or wine and cheese party! They’re not bad leftover either, popped in the microwave for just a few seconds. But you’ll have a hard time not eating all of these at once!
If you’re making these jam and brie tartlets ahead of time, I’d probably just make the crust in advance, and then bake them and add the fillings the day of.
What other jam and cheese combinations can you think of to fill these cuties with? You cold also make mini lemon meringue pies! Oh man. I need to try this now. With a little lemon curd…
Somebody stop me now or the rest of my life will be spent eating miniature Panda-sized pies and tartlets.
On second thought, don’t stop me. That sounds amazing.
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Bite-sized Jabuticaba Jam and Brie Tartlets
Adapted from Just a Bite.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp ice water
- Jabuticaba jam or the jam of your choosing
- Brie cheese or the cheese of your choosing
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the butter into the flour using your fingertips, a fork, or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles wet sand. A few pea-sized pieces are fine.
Add the egg yolk and the water all at once, then stir to combine to form a stiff dough. If the mixture doesn't hold together, add more water 1 tsp at a time until dough does not crumble. Knead gently.
Roll dough out thinly on a lightly floured surface and use a 2-inch fluted cookie cutter to cut out as many circles as you can (should make 20-25).
At this point, you can make these now or save the pastry for later, placing a small piece of parchment paper or wax paper in between each dough circle. Wrap the stack in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. If you are using the dough at a later time, soften until pliable before proceeding to the next step.
Press each circle into a mini muffin tin, making sure there's a bit of a lip around all edges to hold in your fillings. Chill for 30 minutes before baking.
Fill each tartlet shell with a small ball of aluminum foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown, removing foil halfway through to allow to brown. Do not overcook because these will be going back in the oven!
Remove tartlet shells from muffin tin and place on a baking sheet. Fill each shell with a cube of brie cheese, then return to the oven for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melty.
Top each tartlet with a small spoonful of jabuticaba jam. Serve immediately.
You can use any other jam and cheese combination you can think of! Some suggestions are brie and apricot preserves, blue cheese and fig jam, cheddar and apple butter, or goat cheese and raspberry preserves. You can even make a variety platter - just double the dough recipe and make a dozen of each of four different flavor combinations!